Caol Ila 11, 2010-2022, First Fill Bourbon Barrel 321701, 56.9% – Archives

Apart from starting to look like the Archives fanboy channel over here, I do really enjoy almost everything they put out. I say almost, because I like some whiskies better than others, but I have to admit that nothing ‘bad’ comes to mind.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, a little while ago they released this youngster from Islay, and Caol Ila tends to work well at a relatively low age. I veer away from those under 10 year old whiskies with weird cask usage, generally. Not because they are atrocious (although some are) but because I prefer Caol Ila to be fairly clean. It just works very well from Bourbon casks.

Briny, diesel like smoke with hints of lemon drizzle cake. Grass, coastal salinity, silage, and a minty freshness.

A sharp palate with heaps of white pepper and chili heat. A bit of dry oak, lemon and straw. The texture gets a bit syrupy after a little while and a hint of engine grease and pastry cream shows up.

The finish is surprisingly dry with more hessiand and oak. Still there’s smoke and lemon, engine grease and pastry cream.

All in all, a very typical Caol Ila, which is good. It does everything you expect it to do, and doesn’t show any off-notes or anything, so, yeah. Good stuff. Very good value for money, especially compared to other Caol Ilas at the same age or at the same price point. Both at the same level is rare, most Caol Ila of this age is more expensive now.



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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